SHINE on Salem 150, celebrating the sesquicentennial of our city's 1860 charter, continues (and concludes) with the 2012 entry.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Salem in 1972

World Events
  • President Nixon makes historic visit to China.
  • The "Watergate" break-in, political "cover-up" of responsibility.
  • 11 Israeli athletes murdered at Munich Olympics, Mark Spitz wins 7 medals.


In Salem
The new complex of municipal offices and public library is complete. A four-year campaign had been launched by Mayor Vern Miller with Wes Sullivan as chairman of a 26-person committee. Citywide “grass roots” efforts were undertaken, especially to decide whether the site would be north of the city along Mill Creek or south of downtown. The bond issue passed and the southern site was selected. Above, a crowd has gathered on August 18 for the dedication of the complex. A band plays in front of the fountain while onlookers watch from the area between the city hall and the library and from the (then) porch of the library. A feature of the modern styled City Hall structure is a landscaped interior courtyard. The Civic Center also contains publicly owned art works. This collection was begun this year with a Mayor's Invitational Mayor's Invitational exhibition when the Civic Center first opened. The Peace Plaza is a beautiful open space between the City Hall and the Salem Public Library.

When you visit
There is now a third major building of our Civic Center, a parking garage with entrances from Liberty Street and Leslie Street. A short walkway leads to the main entrance of the library. As patrons enter, they enjoy "In a Quiet Meadow"; statuary by Delbert Hodges donated this year when the library opened. Salem's art collection is now displayed throughout the Civic Center, on the lawns and plazas, in the corridors, offices, meeting rooms, in both the Library and City Council Chambers. This is an important local artistic and historic resource. The Salem's Civic Center Art Collection, as it was in 2000, is listed on the Salem History website.
City Hall of the Vern Miller Civic Center houses several of the nine municipal departments including Administration, Finance, Legal (Municipal Court), Human Resources, Police and Community Development. The headquarters of the Fire Department is in Fire Station #1 across Pringle Creek on Trade Street. Other departments such as Public Works, Urban Development, Information Technology are housed elsewhere.
Citizens have the best opportunity to learn how the city government operates by attending City Council meetings. At the meetings, citizens may testify about issues they wish to support or of concern. Another way to effect city programs or services is by volunteering to serve on one of the more than twenty Boards and Commissions. Information about vacancies on Boards and Commissions is found on the city's website.

Other events
Photograph from the collection of Marylou Green
  • In the night before demolition, the clock in tower of the empty 1893 City Hall has stopped at 1:17. The tower of the 1893 City Hall is the last part of the building to be demolished.


 Unoccupied Dalrymple House awaiting move. Separated floors aloft. The crash!
  • On Marion Street, the unoccupied 1863 Dalrymple House awaits its fate. In preparation for moving the Italianate-style house, the two floors were separated. As a first step in the removal process, the second floor is lifted over the street by a crane, but it crashes to the pavement. A Statesman Journal photographer catches the moment of this spectacular accident. James Dalrymple and his wife had three daughters who married into prominent Salem families, leaving many local fourth-generation descendants.
  • Sprague High School, named for former owner-editor of the Oregon Statesman and Oregon governor Charles Arthur Sprague (1886-1969), is dedicated at 2373 Kuebler Road South. Among the guests present on the stage for the dedication on December 3 were Mrs. Martha Sprague Hurley, Mrs. Blanche Sprague, Wallace Sprague and Wesley Sullivan. Bill Kendrick, Salem Superintendent of Schools, and Don Dubois, the principal, conducted the ceremonies.
  • Eola Village is typical of housing for migrant labor that harvests crops outside the city. The Community Conservation Committee inspects the area for low income Turnkey Housing in Northgate Village.
  • On the Capitol steps, Governor McCall meets with employees after a shutdown of paper production at the Boise Cascade plant.
  • The Grier Building is erected at the former location of the 1842 Jason Lee House. A plaque inside commemorates the importance of this historic site.
  • South of Trade Street, urban renewal is creating new buildings and parks where there had been canneries along the south side of Pringle Creek. Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the parking structure and the SAIF building construction begins. These downtown development projects would continue for three years.
  • At the Liberty Street bridge over Pringle Creek, Sambo's is a popular restaurant. Built before 1969, it was originally "Little Black Sambo's", the name taken from a children's book about a South Indian boy's encounter with four hungry tigers. The Tudor Rose replaced this restaurant in a few years. Waterplace has now (2010) been built in this site.
  • On the northeast side of the same bridge, construction begins on Pringle Park Plaza.
  • Neighborhood Associations are established. City Neighborhood Services Specialists and staff liaisons from the city assigned to assist neighborhoods with communications, obtaining information, and better organizing. Faye Wright , an area annexed to the city only 10 years before, is organized this year. The 1920s house (photographed in 2007) is associated with the Frank Hrubetz family for whom the road was named. Two other houses on the same street, at 235 and 230, are associated with this family and research continues. Another significant historical property is the Chesley house at 225 Boone Road. Asked about the neighborhood , Wendy Pyper, Chair in 2010, gave this description: " Thanks to the efforts of Phil Webb and Dean Orton, our association was created so residents would have more influence in land use issues affecting our area. It is alive and well today! Our neighborhood is a mix of apartments, affordable to up-scale single family homes, good schools and churches, parks and businesses. Populated by a diverse group of wonderful people, we have a low crime rate and few issues of concern. We believe this is one of the best places in Salem to live, work and play!"


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